Recipe: Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Broccoli Rabe
One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Madeleine Fischer, program coordinator at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.
This recipe is so satisfying that before you’ve even finished cleaning your plate, you’ll be adding it to your repertoire of quick, easy and fulfilling weeknight meals. Preparing a mise en place — the French phrase for prepping everything you need for a recipe — will set you up for success by having all of the ingredients ready to go. Sautéing the broccoli rabe is arguably the best part of this recipe because it turns a mesmerizing bright green and comes to life before your eyes. That medium-high heat is a magical thing!
When it came time for us to share the meal we created, it was evident from the silence and facial expressions that the broccoli rabe’s commanding bitterness challenged some of our teen’s taste buds. This opened up the age-old discussion of how our taste buds are always changing. One of the best things about cooking is that it gives us a space to try new things.
Pasta with Homemade Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
1 lb pasta
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 lb ground chicken
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth, maybe more
1 bunch broccoli rabe, chopped into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
1. Cook pasta according to instructions on the box (al dente). Drain and reserve ½ cup pasta water.
2. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, parsley, fennel, and oregano. Add a few pinches of salt and pepper. Mix to combine and set aside.
3. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil and, when it shimmers, add garlic and crushed red pepper. Sauté garlic until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add chicken mixture and sauté for about 4-5 minutes. Add broccoli rabe and continue to cook until broccoli turns a bright green. Add pasta and ½ cup of chicken broth, or more if necessary. If the pasta sauce needs thickening, add some reserved pasta water and simmer. Serve immediately with Parmesan.